act 3











Fade In:
Watchers Council – Staging Area – Evening

Three Hours Before the Battle of the Turnpike

Kennedy was standing outside one of the Council’s vans and checking the connection on her Bluetooth ear receiver. The staging area was filled with slayers getting ready to go out on patrol, and the noise was starting to reach the high decibel levels.

Kennedy adjusted the receiver on her ear and spoke into it. “Come in, Control. This is Kennedy, testing.”

“Five-by-five, Slayer Kennedy,” the operator at the control desk answered.

“Ten-four,” Kennedy said, and then turned her attention to the weapons bags.

Denise was loading stakes into a duffle bag, and Marie and Chamique were checking on the status of swords and axes. Kennedy looked at Shannon, who was sitting on the open back deck of the van and playing her PSP. The lead slayer scowled and cuffed her on the arm.

“Hey!” Shannon cried. “You made me die!”

“Stop playing Patapon and get to work,” Kennedy ordered. Shannon grumbled, but she grabbed the bag from Denise and stowed it in the van.

Kennedy looked up at the sound of a car entering the garage and watched as Mia pulled into an empty parking slot. She got out of the car and pulled out a backpack from the trunk. Kennedy frowned at the gloomy expression on Mia’s face. She raised a hand and caught the other slayer’s attention. Mia nodded and walked over after closing her trunk.

“Hey,” Mia said. “What’s up?”

“You okay?” Kennedy asked. She pulled Mia away from the van and out of earshot of the other slayers.

“Yeah, I’m fine,” Mia said. She fiddled with the handle of her backpack.

“Bull,” Kennedy pressed. “What’s wrong?”

Mia sighed and remained silent for a few moments. Finally, she said, “I’m just…this thing with the Council maybe getting shut down. It’s just not fair! You know?”

“Yeah, I know,” Kennedy nodded in agreement.

“I mean, I was finally starting to get used to the idea that I might have a life of my own that mattered,” Mia continued. “Getting kicked out of my home, becoming a slayer, running with a gang…that’s not a lifestyle that makes for longevity. But coming back to the Council, being a real slayer, I started to think that maybe I’d survive. They gave me a good job – yeah, it’s dangerous, but they do everything they can to minimize the risk – and now…” She tapered off.

Kennedy continued for her. “And now we’re in danger of losing that stability.”

Mia nodded. “Yeah, that’s it. Stability. Not something I’ve had in abundance. I mean, even before my parents kicked me out because of who I am.”

“I guess I was luckier,” Kennedy said. “My parents barely noticed me. But I’m sure my step-mother was thrilled to get rid of me when the Council came, and my father was too busy to even notice I was gone. But my watcher and the Council made me feel secure, at least until the First showed up. It’s why I worked so hard to rebuild the Council. To regain that sense of stability.”

“And not because of a certain red-haired witch?” Mia teased with a smile.

Kennedy chuckled. “Well, yeah. That too,” she said. “But I could have left after we broke up. Thought about it, too.”

“You mean it wasn’t in the hopes of getting back with Willow?”

“No,” Kennedy admitted. “And I’m glad I stayed, because I found you.”

“Yeah, and now you have Kadin,” Mia said. The sadness in her voice was clear.

“Yeah,” Kennedy said. “And it’s odd…even without all this mess, I’m thinking about moving in with her.”

Mia looked at the ground and scuffled her feet against the asphalt. “I heard you two got engaged.”

“Yeah, we did,” Kennedy said, but with a note of happiness in her voice. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean–”

“No, it’s okay,” Mia said. “You’ve moved on, and I’m happy for you, really. It’s just…”


“When I heard, I knew it was really over.” Mia took a sudden interest in looking at her feet and ignoring Kennedy’s gaze.

“Oh, Mi,” Kennedy said. “I had my suspicions that you came back for more than one reason, but really–”

“No, I get it,” Mia told her. “And really…I am happy for you as long as she’s good to you.”

“She is,” Kennedy told her. “She and I…we fit.” The two of them stood awkwardly, and then Kennedy continued. “Look, why don’t you contact your parents? Call, or go see them, or something?”

Mia barked out laughter. “And give them another chance to tell me what a disappointment I am as a daughter? No thanks. I’ll pass.”

“Are you sure?” Kennedy pressed her. “Why not give them a chance? Now that they know you’re a slayer, maybe everything else won’t matter so much.”

Mia laughed bitterly again, but then seemed to think about it. “Maybe,” she admitted. “I’ll think about it.”

“Ken,” Chamique called out to the pair over the roar of starting engines. “We’re ready whenever you are.”

“Be there in a sec,” Kennedy called back, and then turned again to Mia. “Stay safe tonight.”

“Yeah, you too.” Mia said. Kennedy started to turn away, but Mia stopped her with a hand on the other slayer’s arm. “Ken?”

“Yeah?” Kennedy said as she turned back.

Mia straightened her body and made a formal and graceful bow to Kennedy. “Dōmo arigatō,” she said in a sing-song voice.

Kennedy returned the bow and then watched as Mia walked away in the direction of her team. Then she returned to where her team was waiting and said, “Okay girls…let’s roll.”

Cut To:
Watchers Council Van – Minutes Later

Chamique expertly drove down the city street. Denise sat next to her, with Kennedy, Shannon and Marie crowded into the back. The youngest slayer was sitting in the middle. Denise turned up the volume on the built-in CB on the console.

Team Beta, divert to sector 5-1,” Grace’s voice said from the speakers. “Reports of vampires in the area. Proceed with caution.”

Kennedy looked out through the window at the passing landscape and then slammed a hand down on Shannon’s jiggling leg. “Stop squirming, squirt,” she ordered.

“Sorry,” Shannon mumbled. “But if you won’t let me play Iron Man…”

“Forget it,” Kennedy said.

Team Zeta,” Grace said. “Have you deployed yet?

Negative, Control,” Casey reported over the radio. “Still short two slayers.”

Team Gamma, come in,”

Chamique sighed and rested her head in one hand. Kennedy glanced over at her.

Gamma here.” It was Hadley’s voice.

Gamma, since you’re short slayers, team up with Zeta and move out,” Grace ordered.

Ten-four, Control,” Hadley acknowledged.

“We’re losing more and more girls,” Marie said.

“Yeah, what about it?” Shannon asked.

“Means we’re screwed, that’s what about it,” Marie said.

Kennedy looked at her. “Got a problem, Marie?”

Marie looked at the other slayer over Shannon’s head. “Yeah, I got a problem. This is the final countdown, and those girls are leaving us with our butts hanging in the wind. Don’t tell me you don’t have a problem with that?”

Kennedy’s look was challenging. “So why’d you bother showing up, then?” she asked.

Marie shrugged. “I figure I better kill things while I still can.”

Kennedy gave a small smirk and looked back out the window.

Cut To:
Cleveland Street – Later that Night

Chamique and Marie were walking point, with Denise following and Kennedy and Shannon in the rear. They were patrolling a small commercial plaza in a residential district. The night was quiet, and little traffic was out on the streets.

“What’s wrong, Shannon?” Kennedy asked quietly.

“I hate this,” Shannon said. “Feeling so powerless. Like everything we do and have done out here means nothing to the people we save.”

“We’ve been powerless before,” Kennedy pointed out.

“Yeah, but at least then we still had a home,” the younger slayer said. “We had a roof over our head and could make a stand. protect our home. I don’t wanna lose that…and God, I don’t want to go back to Nebraska!”

“No matter where you are, kid, you’ll never stop fighting,” Kennedy said. “And don’t give up yet. We’ll think of something. We’ve got some pretty smart people in the Council. We’ll get through this – we always do.”

In the lead, Chamique abruptly stopped and held up a hand. She pointed down an alleyway they were passing, and the team flattened themselves against the brick wall. At the opposite end of the alley, a stream of demons marched past, all in the same direction.

“What are they doing?” Marie asked.

“Something tells me we’re looking at the Voice of Hell’s version of patrol,” Kennedy said. She touched the control on her communicator. “Control, this is Kennedy with Team Alpha, come in.”

Go ahead, Alpha,” came Grace’s reply.

“There’s a line of demons traveling south down Great Northern Boulevard,” Kennedy reported. “Have you heard of any VOH activity?”

One moment, Alpha,” Grace said.

Kennedy sighed and sat down on the curb in front of a closed Middle Eastern grocery.

Cut To:
Cleveland Street – Minutes Later

Kennedy and Shannon hid behind the dumpster of a Chick-Fil-A, a few blocks down the street from where they had been. The other members of the team were nearby, behind cars and bushes. The fast food place’s parking lot was lit, but empty. They were still watching the demons from afar.

After a few moments, Kennedy’s radio crackled to life. “Alpha Team, come in?”

“Ro, is that you?” Kennedy asked. “I thought you were off tonight.”

“So did I,” Rowena replied darkly. “Listen, we spoke to Skye, and she said the Voice of Hell is supposed to be quiet tonight.”

“I’m guessing she was wrong,” Shannon smirked.

Kennedy rolled her eyes as she both replied and shook her head at the other girls to let them know what was going on. “Any orders?” she asked.

Do not – I repeat – do not engage,” Rowena said. “Fall back, but keep an eye on them.”

“That’s what we’ve been doing,” Kennedy told her.

“Good then, keep doing that.”

Kennedy sighed. “Ten-four. Kennedy out.” She turned to the other girls. “Let’s head back to the van and keep them in sight.”

“We’re not going to attack?” Marie asked.

“No,” Kennedy said. “Ro’s orders.”

Marie stamped her foot in anger. “This is exactly why we’re getting shut down! This stupid stand back strategy is why we haven’t done anything effective against the Voice of Hell.”

“Hey, you got a problem with the chain of command?” Kennedy barked, getting up into Marie’s face.

“Yeah! I got a problem with it!” Marie retorted.

“Fine!” Kennedy growled and waved a hand toward the marching demons. “Then feel free to go kill things on your own.”

“Fine!” Marie said, and turned to head off after the demons.

Kennedy rolled her eyes and grabbed Marie by the arm to pull her back. “Stop acting like an ass and come on.” She pushed the other girl in the direction of the van.

Cut To:
Watchers Council Van – Later that Night

This time Kennedy was sitting in the shotgun seat as Chamique slowly drove through the streets. The demons had earlier turned off the main street and eventually on to a dirt road near a copse of dark woods.

“We’re near the Turnpike,” Chamique reported. After about ten minutes, she pulled the van to a stop. “It’s just on the other side of these trees. This is as close as we can get.”

Kennedy nodded and spoke into her headset. “Control, Team Alpha here. The demons are setting up along the Turnpike.”

Acknowledged, Alpha,” Faith said over the radio. “Stand by.

“Is that Faith? How many people are in Control tonight?” Denise asked from the back seat. Kennedy just shrugged.

The slayers waited in the dark. Finally, Faith’s voice sounded again. “Alpha, there’s a report of a military convoy headed toward your position. Stand by. Backup is on the way.”

“Ten-four, Control,” Kennedy said, and clicked off the mic.

“What now?” Marie asked. She was sitting on the edge of the rear seat and looking out the side door’s window. There was tension in her body language.

Kennedy thought for a moment. “We wait. I think these demons are setting up an ambush. At least we’ve got surprise on our side.”

At that moment, a demon stumbled out of the bushes and gasped in surprise at the Council’s van. The slayers and the demon stared at each other.

“Oh crap,” Kennedy muttered, before the demon turned and ran back toward the highway.

“So much for surprise,” Marie said, and then quickly slid the door of the van open.

“Hold still!” Kennedy yelled, but Marie ignored her and jumped out of the van, running in the direction the demon had disappeared.

Chamique quipped, “It’s like the students ignoring the teacher on the last day of school.”

“Screw this,” Kennedy growled and opened her door. “Come on.”

The rest of the slayers poured out of the van.

Cut To:
Ohio Turnpike – Moments Later

The westbound lanes of the Ohio Turnpike were completely deserted, as were the eastbound lanes, except for the slowly moving convoy of infantry tanks, half track personnel carriers, armed scout Jeeps and Humvees headed toward Cleveland. The convoy had reached the ambush point.

The ambushing demons lined the ditches along both the breakdown lane and the median. A demon command post was set up behind a stand of trees on the same side the slayers were approaching. A large group of various demons was gathered around the command post. The demon Marie was chasing finally reached the post and crashed into one of the demons by force of his forward momentum.

“My lord Kosh!” the demon cried in a breathless voice.

The demon picked the smaller one up in both arms and held him out at arm’s length. “What, you worthless worm?”

“Slayers, my lord,” he replied with fear in his voice. “We’ve been followed by slayers!”

“Good work, Markium,” he told him. “You’ve been quite helpful.”

As the first Humvee, an olive-drab vehicle with a TOW rocket launcher on its roof, passed the last demon in the line, Kosh swung the frightened demon with a mighty heave out onto the highway. Upon seeing Markium, the soldier driving the lead vehicle slammed on his brakes, but he wasn’t able to stop. His body jerked forward at the impact of hitting the demon, and he tried to steer left, then right, then left again.

As if that was the signal, both sides of the highway suddenly erupted into heavy fire. The vehicles caught in the crossfire staggered to a halt. As return fire broke out, many of the demons burst from the ditches and rushed the convoy.

“Charge!” Kosh shouted.

A large number of the demons standing near Kosh moved out on his signal and concentrated on the M577 command and control carrier riding behind the lead Humvee.

After a brief conversation with another demon, Kosh turned to face the slayers. and a smile broke out on his face as Kennedy moved forward.

On the highway, soldiers began to pour from the personnel carriers, armed with automatic machine guns and rocket launchers. One man was shot as he ran towards the rear of the carrier, his body being flung backward into the arms of another soldier. The soldier laid him gently on the ground and checked for a pulse. Finding none, he ducked down and crawled behind one of the vehicle’s massive tires. He quickly set up the machine gun and calmly began firing at the demons.

Other soldiers were taking positions behind meager barricades, keeping low to the ground. Two from a single squad threw frag grenades at the ditch. Ichor and various demon parts flung up into the air. The squad quickly ran to take over the position in the ditch. One man slipped on demon goo and was shot as he fell, but the others made it.

The sergeant yelled, “Concentrate on the C&C! We have to get the General out of there!”

The other soldiers began to concentrate their fire, picking the demons off of the carrier one by one. The sergeant grabbed the military phone and began calling for help.

By this time, the lead Humvee was burning, as were several of the carriers toward the middle of the convoy. One soldier, his uniform ablaze, jumped from a burning truck and fell to the ground. As he was rolling, a demon approached and swung down with an axe, nearly decapitating the soldier.

Chamique screamed in rage and tackled the demon, causing the axe to go flying. The pair rolled for a few feet until Chamique was able to get both hands on the demon’s head and, with a sickening crunch, she snapped his neck.

Although the tide of the battle was turning against the demons, at the C&C truck. the demons had finally gained entrance and were pulling out the men inside. In the ditch, the sergeant screamed at his men, “Hold fire! There’s the General. Let’s go!”

With that, the squad leaped over the protective barrier of the ditch. Two of the men were immediately cut down, but the rest attacked the remaining demons surrounding the vehicle. Denise and Shannon quickly joined them, and between the soldiers and the slayers, they dispatched the demons, but not before one of them ran off toward the command post. The sergeant kneeled down next to a man wearing four stars on his lapel. He checked the general’s pulse and then screamed, “Medic!”

At the command post, Kennedy was struggling with Kosh. The huge demon easily held off the slayer. Kennedy’s left eye was nearly swollen shut, and blood stained a gash in her side. Kosh smiled as she threw herself at him once again, but he ducked aside.

“Give it up, Slayer,” he growled.

As a demon came barreling past the fighting pair, Kosh glanced at him. To Kennedy’s surprise, Kosh took off after the demon. She tried to keep up, but after a minute, she grabbed her side and had to stop, resting her hands on her knees, trying to regain her breath. After a moment, she turned back toward the highway. When she got there, she found General Voll lying on the ground, obviously dead as a medic attempted to work on him.

“One more strike to the Council,” Kennedy muttered.

“Could be worse,” Shannon told her. “You could be that guy,” she said, pointing to the general.

“How bad is it, Shannon, that my first thought is how this is going to look to the press?”

“Maybe you just need a vacation?” Shannon offered.

Kennedy gave her a small grin and patted her shoulder. “Maybe someday I’ll do that,” she replied.

Marie ran over toward Kennedy, waving something in the air.

“I got it!” she exclaimed.

Cut To:
Ohio Turnpike – Minutes Later

Except for the burning trucks, the silence along the highway was chilling. Dead soldiers and demons were strewn everywhere. The surviving soldiers were in the midst of coldly dispatching the wounded demons. Kennedy stood over the body of the General  as she looked around at the carnage. She sighed and keyed her communicator.


“Come in, Control,” she said. “This is Kennedy.”

Go ahead, Ken,” Faith said.

“Convoy secure, but we have dead soldiers and one very dead general here,” she replied. “Remaining demons, including the leader, have taken off. However, we found a bit of intelligence that might help us out. I want to get it back to the Council ASAP.”

Faith was silent for a moment. “Acknowledged, Slick. Hang on a sec.”

“Come on, Faith,” Kennedy whispered to herself. “Don’t leave us sitting here with our butts hanging out. Bring us home.”

After another pause, Faith finally said, “Slick, your orders are to follow the remaining demons and engage. Repeat, follow and engage. We’ll secure the highway and send backup to rendezvous with you.”

“What?” Kennedy said. “Look, that badass demon almost had me…”

Enough, Slayer,” Faith ordered in a stern voice. “This is a chance to strike a blow against the damn VOH. Now do your job!

“Ten-four,” Kennedy said. Brow furrowed, she turned to her team. “Let’s go.”

Cut To:
Cleveland Suburban Cul-de-sac – Minutes Later

Kennedy and the other slayers filed out of the van and looked around the quiet street. A woman holding a pug in her arms looked at them in astonishment.

Kennedy looked at her and waved to the house. “Get in the house, hide and don’t come out, got it?”

The woman nodded and then scampered back into the house, slamming the door behind her. The sound of a dog barking could be heard.

“Other than Mr. Yappy, it’s too quiet,” Denise said.

“Are you sure this is where they went?” Shannon asked.

Chamique nodded. “Satellite intel confirmed it.”

“It’s too quiet,” Kennedy said, and then with an alarmed look on her face, she yelled, “Get down!”

The slayers hit the asphalt as a rocket grenade burst through the metal side of the van. The explosion that followed shattered the peaceful street. A Humvee filled with demons blocked the entrance to the cul-de-sac. Demons were out and firing from behind the protection of the vehicle.

The whine of bullets flying overhead caused the slayers to hug the ground. Marie looked up and then yelled, “This way!” She started crawling toward one of the house lawns that was surrounded by a concrete wall.

Once the girls had taken cover, Shannon asked, “What now?”

“Backup should be here any second now,” Kennedy said, panting. “We wait.”

“We won’t last that long,” Marie said. “Once they realize we’re not armed with guns, they’ll rush.” Without further explanation, she jumped up and ran along the wall  using it as cover. When she neared the Humvee, she vaulted over the wall into one of the demons, pulling his M16 from his hands and using it as a club. The demon’s skull shattered, and he fell to the ground.

The girls watched as Marie ran around behind the Humvee and took out the other demon firing at them by clubbing him at the top of his spine, causing him to fall in a boneless heap. She reached down to pull a grenade from the dead demon’s belt and, holding it one hand, pulled the pin with her thumb.

Kennedy saw the Humvee’s front door open and Kosh calmly step out. “Marie! Watch out!” she screamed, just as Kosh raised an M9 pistol and aimed it at Marie.

Marie looked up and met the huge demon’s eyes. Before she could speak or move, Kosh fired, and the slug slammed into her chest, knocking her back and to the ground. The grenade went flying, and a moment later it exploded on someone’s lawn, bringing down an old buckeye tree. Metal and wood shrapnel slammed into the house, destroying its facade.

Unable to move, Marie stared at the sky. “I always was stupid,” she whispered.

Kosh walked toward the fallen slayer and cocked his head as he looked down. Raising the pistol, he fired again, this time directly into her head.

Ignoring the mess, the demon turned the dead slayer over with his foot, pulled a piece of paper from her back pocket, and then quickly got back in the Humvee. As the truck started to back out of the cul-de-sac, more gunfire filled the area.

“Oh God, now what?” Denise cried.

Kennedy held up a hand. “It’s Black Ops,” she said. “Stay down, I don’t want anyone hit by friendly fire.”

“But Marie!” Shannon said.

“We can’t help her now,” Kennedy said, the strain in her voice easily heard. “Just stay down!”

A helicopter bearing the Council’s crest on the fuselage strafed the street, hitting the Humvee. The gas tank exploded with a whump, and the demons inside poured out, some of them on fire. Squads of slayers poured into the cul-de-sac, firing on the demons with brutal efficiency.

After what seemed a ridiculously short period of time, the gunfire tapered off, and Amira ordered her teams to secure the area. Slayers ran up to the houses to check on the occupants, while a medic approached Kennedy’s team.

Any injured?” someone asked over the radio.

“No,” Kennedy answered for the rest of them. The medic started to walk over toward Marie, but Kennedy reached out and stopped him. “She’s dead,” Kennedy said. “Marie’s dead.”

The medic began to check Kennedy’s swollen eye, but she shrugged him off. She walked toward the still-burning Humvee and kneeled down beside Marie’s body.

“Well, you certainly killed many things tonight, Marie,” she whispered. She pulled off her hooded sweatshirt and laid it gently over the remains of Marie’s head. “You died a hero…I think you would be glad about that.”

Kennedy turned at a sound coming from one of the demons lying on the ground. It was Kosh. The demon was flat on his back, and greenish liquid was trickling out of his mouth. She stood up and walked over to him, looking down. Finally, she prodded him with her foot, and the demon opened his eyes.

“Where are the codes?” Kennedy asked.

Kosh laughed, more blood bubbling out of his mouth. “On their way to headquarters, Slayer. You’re too late. Sorry about your friend, though.”

“Bastard,” Kennedy said. “You broke the rules, you know that? If you come after us with guns, we’ll hit back even harder. Doesn’t your precious Voice of Hell know that? Don’t you dumbasses realize that for every slayer you kill, we’ll kill one hundred of you?”

Kosh smirked. “The Voice of Hell was right, Slayer,” he said. “A war is coming.”

Kennedy snarled at him. “I’ve had enough of you!” With that she stomped one heavy booted foot directly on his throat, breaking his windpipe. Before Kosh could strangle to death, Kennedy walked away.

Black Out


End of Act Three

Go Back Next Act